The marketing rebellion is here
Marketing geeks like me tend to spend spare time doing a lot of reading, thinking and pondering. We’re always in search of new ideas, especially those that challenge convention. I’ve long been a fan of Mark Schaefer. I was first introduced to him through his book, The Tao of Twitter, but realized quickly that his content and knowledge extended far beyond a single platform. Mark is one of these guys who is at the intersection of academic approach and practical application through consulting. He’s the closing keynote at Social Media Marketing World 2019, and I can’t wait to see that presentation. He has a new book coming out Feb 1st called “Marketing Rebellion – the most human company wins”. I’ve been able to get a sneak peek at the contents as well as the online workbook. It will likely cause you to question the very foundation of what it means to be a marketer. (He's also got a cool promo video you might want to check out HERE.)
In it he looks at how past strategies are coming into question as technology races ahead. While I won’t totally steal the thunder, he makes several astute observations:
- 2/3 of your marketing is occurring without you
- That 2/3 is happening on social media, through word of mouth, in customer driven content, and through reviews
- You can no longer buy your way in, you have to be invited
- 87% of customers shop around
- 80% of consumers distrust all advertising
- Business is now built on human impressions, not advertising impressions
- Over ½ of all consumers will buy or boycott based on their beliefs (and the number gets much higher with younger audiences)
He argues that the essence of marketing today is this:
Want to learn more about what Mary could do for your company?
“We need to provide value and earn trust through human impressions so our customers carry our message forward.”
This means showing our faces, telling real stories, demonstrating compassion, and speaking in an authentic human voice.
Then let them tell your story…
He tells of a high-end hotel chain charging thousands of dollars for their exclusive suites. They wanted to increase revenue from the units, marketed largely to billionaire clients, and were looking for ways to improve the experience through added features. Let’s face it, having the biggest room, the best bed, or more amenities in the bathroom is likely something those customers were used to already.
In focus groups, they learned what was really wanted is a memory to take home with them.
It then became about the experience and the story, not the features. So instead the hotel embarked on gathering the iconic stories buried in the history of every suite – famous songs composed in those rooms, books written, movies filmed there, and celebrities as guests. Suites were rebranded in a subtle and classy way, delivering a story to share and a memory to take home. They didn’t change the product in a physical way, they changed it in an emotional way. It was brilliant marketing.
I can think of two personal experiences similar to this. A number of years ago I stayed at Montreal’s Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel, right beside suite 1742 where John Lennon and Yoko Ono staged their famous ‘Bed In for peace’. At the time, the suite simply had a brass plaque on the door, noting this historical event. It was super cool just to be next door, and I’m sure for a price it would have been even more memorable to be staying in the suite. In 2017 the hotel renovated the room, complete with a rotary dial phone and Lennon’s voice explaining his commitment to peace, as well as TV and radio footage, photos, a guitar in the corner, and the iconic sign “bed for peace” on the window as a permanent decal now, not paint as it was then. The hotel has capitalized on the history contained within the suite, offering an experience to share and a memory to take home.
In another example, last year my husband and I took a motorbike ride on historical Route 66 as part of a tour of the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park. We stayed at the El Trovatore Motel in Kingman. Built in 1937, it was the first in the state with air-conditioned rooms and private en suite bathrooms, so it attracted Vegas and Hollywood celebrities such as Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and Elvis Presley. Since updated, rooms still hold historical charm, and no doubt some secrets if the walls could only talk. Themed celebrity rooms dot an exterior painted Route 66 wall mural, depicting stops from Chicago to LA, covering the span of the motel. The quirky owner recounted history and entertained us with stories, nostalgia and memorabilia.
In both of these examples the accommodation experience was memorable because there was a human element and a story to bring home and share.
So, what are you doing in your business to be more human? What stories are you creating through human impressions that your customers will share for you?
I’ll leave you with those thoughts for this week. And if some of the ideas shared here resonate, be sure to order Mark’s book.
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Until next week,
Be more human
And give them a story to share
If you want other insightful marketing tips, link here fiveminutemarketing.com
Consulting website: charleson.ca